In a wide ranging interview with News24, the party’s founder and president Pastor Timothy JM Chiguvare, revealed how PPP was geared to face the challenges of removing President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party.
Pastor Chiguvare, a former Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) member, said he was dissatisfied with the current government of national unity (GNU) formed by Mugabe and the two MDC formations of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, saying it had failed to bring significant change to the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
Chiguvare said PPP was the voice for the oppressed and it was formed in 2008 after the elections that left many Zimbabweans feeling betrayed. The outcome of the election was not what many people had expected and there had to be a way forward.
It was at that time that PPP started mobilising people by forming a union of the struggling youth of Zimbabwe.
“But later, we discovered some people were older and we thought it best to form another union for struggling women which was then followed by the union of the unemployed. These unions, when we put them together make up to 90 percent of the Zimbabwe population where we draw our membership from. And the idea behind the formation of these unions was to prove that we could change our people’s lives,” he told News 24.
He said the party was launched in South Africa, Johannesburg in 2008 and was funded by its members.
“This was because we didn’t want to be funded by organisations which would in turn want tell us what to do,” he said.
“But when we launched, the party was called Christians for Peace, Justice and Democracy. In 2009, we decided to change the name because we looked at the aims and objectives of the party and realised that it (party) was supposed to be free of religion so that even non Christians could feel accommodated. We are planning a big launch in Zimbabwe before the end of July. “
Chiguvare said Zanu (PF) had not reformed, adding it was still the same party with the grudge for white people and this was killing the country.
He said Zanu (PF) and MDC were still worlds. Zanu (PF) still viewed MDC as a party of the British and Americans, formed to protect the whites’ land from being seized.
“So as far as PPP is concerned the GNU is a non-starter. It’s a mockery to the people of Zimbabwe because it’s not the wish of the people. They started negotiating in 2008, now we are in 2010 and nothing tangible has come out of it. Ninety percent of our people are still without employment and millions of our youths are out of the country. Industries such as mining, agriculture and manufacturing are still dead. Education, health, transport systems are all in shambles.”
He said Zimbabwe needed to be re-built from scratch and that required a new government formed by a new political party not MDC or Zanu (PF).
Chiguvare said he had made some suggestion to the MDC that it was not supposed to get involved in the talks of the unity government but said the message fell on deaf ears.
“I would have preferred a situation where a referendum was conducted for people to air their views on what they thought about the formation of the GNU but the MDC leaders decided to bulldoze people into it. Seeing these developments, that’s when I started mobilising people for the formation of the PPP,” he was quoted as saying to News 24.
“You see MDC has no typical politicians, it has academics and that’s where the problem is. Academics want good salaries, have respect for other people and are afraid to take risks. Zanu (PF) ‘s leaders risk their names and that’s why they can even be able to build up cases against individuals knowing very well that there is no case. Politics can do dirty things and that’s what MDC should have known before proceeding to elections and before entering into the GNU. They were supposed to deal with Zanu (PF) with extreme caution because Zanu (PF) has leaders who have been in politics for many years. It has experts and it plans ahead.”
He said PPP had senior party members who were running away from other political parties including MDC and Zanu (PF). Some of them were within the unity government and had seen these people failing and were not happy with what they were seeing.
“Unfortunately I cannot mention them yet as they are not ready to come out in the open,” News 24 quoted him as saying.
“The problem right now is South Africa which is the mediator in Zimbabwe. SA is aware that the land reform in Zimbabwe was not done in an orderly manner but it’s quiet on that.”
“Another problem is SADC (Southern African Development Community) which must be honest to the Zimbabwe people on all issues they see are not straight forward and are hampering progress in the country. SADC must come clean on Zimbabwe issues.” News 24